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Staycations - One Great Way to Save Money for Vacations

Updated on October 12, 2011

What is a Staycation?

A Staycation is a word that describes staying within your local area for your vacation time, rather then going away somewhere like a "normal" vacation.  With the economy the way it is, and has been for a few years now, more and more people are doing staycations and it has become a new word that has "stuck." Its exciting to think about even if you aren't struggling financially.  Just staying close by your hometown is smart for a lot of reasons. 

If nothing else, you are putting the money you are spending back into your local area.  So your taxes that you are paying are benefitting you locally.  There are some basic ideas or tips to follow to make your staycation special and memorable. 

Staycations can be interesting and relaxing too.
Staycations can be interesting and relaxing too. | Source

Some general advice for Staycations

First, make sure you plan ahead, and don't put it off.  There is a real temptation to assume that you don't have to really plan for your staycation since you are nearby anyway.  The thing is, you won't be maximizing your precious time that you do have.  What if the idea you were  planning fell on the one day in the week that the place is closed?  Yes this has happened to me and to many people.  That can be a disappointment, and a day wrecker if you aren't careful.

Make plans just like you would for any other vacation.  Definitely plan on getting out and going places together and rediscovering the area you live in.  They say it is a good idea to look at your city like a tourist would.  Call the Travel Bureau in your area, ask about the top places to go and don't assume you know it all. 

Its so odd how we assume things about the very places we live.  Why do we put off going to the zoos, the  museums, parks and many other attractions just because we live there so often?  Often, people don't realize what they missed until they move away!

Give yourself a 100 mile radius as a general rule.  You don't have to stay extra close to home necessarily.  Plan things that you can leave in the morning, get there and enjoy the time, and then come back home.   If you spend money, you are still saving on some meals this way as well as lodging and gas.  That is the beauty of a staycation!

Going to the Zoo (again even!) is a great idea
Going to the Zoo (again even!) is a great idea | Source

Some Ideas for your Staycation

This is a general list of ideas that of course will vary with your own area.  Consider looking into all the fun things there are to do, and even if you have done them before, you may have a whole new fun experience doing them again.  I would recommend however putting at the top of your list doing things you haven't done before 

Think museums, parks, different forms of entertainments, natural choices like hiking and biking, and different centers like science centers, etc.   You can go miniature golfing, bowling, fishing perhaps, whatever your area offers.  Some people have done a sports staycation.  If you are at a loss for ideas, go online and check for fun things to do in your city, or go to the travel bureau and ask friends and family for ideas.  You know the ages and preferences of the people in your life, so tailor it to them. 

Once, when we did a little staycation, we went to a beautiful local river (within the 100 mile distance) and camped, fished and canoed.  It was super wonderful, a memory we all will treasure forever.  We truly enjoyed doing something we hadn't done before.  We even invited some family, and my brother and his family joined us for the camping part.  They had very young children and canoeing wasn't the best idea for them, but they came for the part they could.

Another time, we drove maybe 45 minutes away with some friends to go spelunking, or cave exploring!  It was great fun and so interesting. Another time, we spent a good bit of time at the local butterfly conservatory. 

The beauty is that you don't  have to spend a lot, you don't have to forego family time together, and you are pouring the little bit of money you are spending into your local economy.  If and when other family and friends come around to visit you, you are not out of ideas of how to entertain them either. 

Staycation Poll

Have you ever done a staycation?

See results


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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Talfonso, I don't doubt that at all! I like Florida, the times I have visited it. I can only imagine its an awesome place to live and have great staycations. I appreciate the comment and visit. :)

    • talfonso profile image


      7 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Poll answered - I staycationed several times! I live in Florida, a tourist state, and there's plenty to do in it! A lot of great things free and costly are within 100 miles from home - Clearwater Beach, Tampa (all of it), and Walt Disney World - you name it! Will reread the Hub (because it's useful and awesome), but staycationing is pretty easy if you live in FL!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      FastFreta, I am grateful that you stopped by, and shared your experience. It makes a lot of sense to do that and families really benefit I think as opposed to just doing nothing when there is not a lot of money in the budget. Thank you for your kind words.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Shannon, that is awesome, so glad to hear you found some great places within 20 miles of your home. I think it would be a neat challenge to do! I know for a fact we haven't done all we can do within a 20 mile radius of our home. I need to look into it more, and now you have inspired me all the more.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Simone, Thank you for your kind words, I am glad you like the pictures! Glad to hear you like staycations as well, and I appreciate you stopping by.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Pamela, thank you for stopping by! I think now, more than ever people enjoy having fun without spending a fortune, so I agree. Thank you for your kind words. :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      HappyBoomerNurse, thank you for stopping by and for the comment. I like your ideas, and I agree that many don't really take advantage of the things right around them. Often, they don't anticipate ever moving either, but then if they do have to move, and never did all the things they could in the area, then they missed out altogether on many things. I like what you said about uplifting one's spirit and renewing the soul near a river, mountain or ocean, I completely agree! Thanks for the kind words, so glad you liked the pictures.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      I've actually done staycations, at the time, I didn't really realized that was a new thing. We used to do them with our kids when they were young, and we didn't have money or time to take a real vacation away from home. You're right about planning, it makes all the difference. The idea about putting money back into your local economy is really a good idea. Very good hub oceansnsunsets.

    • shannon86 profile image


      7 years ago from Maine

      I love staycations. That was pretty much how I spent my summer and I found so many interesting places within 20 miles of my home.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Hurrah for staycations! You've shared some excellent advice, and I adore the beautiful photos you have shared! Thanks for writing the Hub :D

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think this one excellent way to have some fun without spending a fortune. This is a good idea. I also loved your photos.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      My husband and I have taken Staycations for years but have always called them daytrips. We were blessed to live in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley for the first 26 years of our marriage and have lived near the Delaware beaches for the last 10 years. Both regions are "tourist" destinations and we have always kept abreast of festivals, events, concerts and parks, museums, historical mansions, etc. It's amazing how many free concerts one can find in such an area, and yet I've known neighbors and friends who rarely take advantage of the things available within a 50 mile radius.

      I hope this wonderful hub inspires others to explore their own hometowns or other towns within a 50 to 100 mile radius. When money or paid vacation time is in short supply, a staycation is just the thing to lift one's spirit and renew one's soul especially if it's spent near a mountain, river or ocean.

      I love your photos.


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